If you've driven though downtown Bowling Green recently, you probably noticed it's flooded with pink ribbons.
October is breast cancer awareness month.
The Barren River District Health Department and the Warren County Breast and Cervical Cancer Coalition hosted "Paint the Town Pink" on Oct. 1 at Fountain Square Park.
Anyone who's been affected by breast cancer could put pink ribbons on lampposts and listen to a cancer survivor talk about her experience with this disease.
The Barren River District Health Department says breast cancer affects everyone, and most people know someone who's had it and many women experience it themselves.
Karen Hoover is one of them.
"My cancer was found before it had invaded my lymph-nodes," Hoover explained.
Karen is a five-year breast cancer survivor.
Her doctor caught it early because she gets mammograms and does self-examinations regularly.
"I have run across so many people that do not have their yearly mammograms. A lot of people are scared because it hurts. Well, it hurts for two seconds," Hoover assured.
Ever since Karen was diagnosed with cancer, she's been very active in spreading awareness.
"If it's not caught early, you can die," she continued.
Spreading awareness isn't just for survivors, all women are encouraged to paint the town pink.
"I try to attend this every year and there are other programs," Karen continued.
She understands the damage cancer can cause.
"I had two young boys and a husband, and it was probably hardest on them," Karen admitted.
She said her family was her biggest support, but not all women are so lucky.
"I knew a girl, and her husband couldn't handle it so they split up. Fortunately, that did not happen to me," Karen added.
She said finding support is the best advice she can give.
"The people in your treatment room are your friends, and you learn from them," mentioned Anne Grubbs, a breast cancer survivor.
"Talk to someone that's been there. Like I said, there is a support group in Bowling Green," Karen explained.
She said she'll continue to support other cancer victims because that's what helped her survive.
Karen added that all women over 40 should get yearly mammograms and do monthly self-examinations.
Bowling Green Support Group Contact Info:
- My Image-Life After Breast Cancer
- Toby Black, 781-6070
Also on the web: Ky. Women's Cancer Screening Program